The high number of fatality rates among teen drivers has been well documented. In fact, car accidents remain the number one killer of teenagers ages 15 to 19. In an effort to save the lives of teens many states, including Louisiana, have enacted graduated license programs that impose certain requirements on teen drivers.
While current Louisiana teen driving policies have gone a long way in trying to improve the safety and instruction of teen drivers, loopholes still exist. One provision previously allowed some first-time applicants to obtain drivers licenses without undergoing any behind-the-wheel training. As of Aug. 1, however, this loophole has been closed.
A new law recently went into effect that will require all first-time drivers license applicants to log at least eight hours of time driving with an instructor. Teens under age 17 have been required to log eight hours behind the wheel and 30 hours of classroom time in driver education classes. Louisiana residents age 17 and older, however, were only required to log six hours of driver education instruction.
The new law will now require residents who are age 17 to abide by the same standards as those previously required for younger drivers. The law will also require those age 18 and older to attend a minimum of six hours of driver education instruction as well as eight hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.
Louisiana state officials are hopeful the new law will help reduce the number of car and truck accidents and make Louisiana roads and highways safer.
Source: The Times-Picayune, "First-time Louisiana driver's license training requirements increased," Jeff Adelson, July 24, 2012